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British government stunned by Man Utd's Ronaldo sale to Real Madrid

British sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe has called the £80million fee that will take Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid beyond the comprehension of the ordinary fan.

Sutcliffe, a Salford-born Manchester United fan, said the money offered by Real highlighted the growing gap between a few rich clubs and the rest.

The minister said: "These are astronomical figure and from the wider perspective this transfer, added to the one of Kaka [for £56million], continues to give us cause for concern.

"Competitive balance is not just a UK issue now, it's a European issue especially since Florentino Perez is now bringing the galacticos back to Real Madrid.

"These figures are simply beyond the understanding of most ordinary fans.

"I am worried that a small group of rich clubs are getting richer and that does affect the balance and the opportunities for the wider game.

"It is what motivated us to write to the Premier League, FA and Football League to express our concerns about transparency and competitive balance."

Sutcliffe admitted that with Ronaldo wanting the transfer, £80million was too good a fee for United to turn down.

He added: "As a United supporter I am disappointed to see him go because he has been a wonderful player for us but I accept it's good business for the club to sign him for £12million and sell him for £80million."

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